He spent the last several years of his life writing The Way the Future Blogs, fashioning the pieces from which a new volume of his memoirs might be made — in the meantime so charming the latest generation of science fiction fans with his anecdotes from the genre’s golden age that he was voted a Best Fan Writer Hugo in 2010.
Pohl himself had started out in sf as a teenaged fan – not without controversy, for he was one of the six Futurians who were thrown out of the First Worldcon in 1939. The scales of justice would balance later when he was named guest of honor at the 1972 Worldcon, L.A.Con I.
Pohl was also one of the field’s youngest prozine editors, from 1939 to 1943 running Astonishing Stories and Super Science Stories.
He served in World War II as an air corps weatherman, mainly in Italy.
After the war he ran the genre’s leading literary agency – yet it was not financially successful. He closed it down in the early 1950s and went back to writing full time.
He co-founded the Hydra Club in 1947, a regular gathering of New York’s sf pros.
A satire written in collaboration with Cyril M. Kornbluth, The Space Merchants (1953), was one of his most noted works in this period. They followed in 1955 with Gladiator-at-Law.
In the 1960s Pohl became one of the field’s most important editors. His Galaxy and If won the Hugo Award for Best Professional Magazine in 1966, 1967 and 1968.
Resuming his writing career in the 1970s, he penned such renowned novels as Man Plus (1977 Nebula), Gateway (1978 Hugo and Nebula), and Jem. Beyond the Blue Event Horizon followed in the 1980s. He also won a Hugo for his 1985 short story “Fermi and Frost.”
Pohl was President of the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1974.
He earned many lifetime achievement honors — Science Fiction Hall of Fame (1998, Living Inductee), SFWA Grand Master Award (1993), Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award (2013, distinguished service), Eaton Award (Lifetime Achievement, 2009), Forry Award (lifetime achievement, voted by LASFS, 1994), Milford Award (1995, lifetime achievement), Prix Utopia (2000, lifetime achievement), Skylark Award (1966, given by NESFA), Writers and Illustrators of the Future (2000, lifetime achievement)
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Anne Hull, Ph.D.
[Thanks to Lloyd Penney and Taral Wayne for the story.]
Update 09/03/2013: Corrected link to 1939 Worldcon story per comment.